Mullah says Taliban winning
KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban’s shadowy leader told Afghans on Wednesday that the insurgents are winning the war and warned Americans that they are wasting lives and billions in tax dollars by continuing in the conflict.
In an end-of-Ramadan message posted on jihadist websites and relayed by the Site Intelligence Group, the Taliban leader also said the Americans and their allies will soon leave the country. He urged his fighters to adhere to his code of conduct and avoid harming civilians — instructions U.S. commanders say the Taliban frequently ignore.
‘‘The victory of our Islamic nation over the invading infidels is now imminent and the driving force behind this is the belief in the help of Allah and unity among ourselves,’’ Mullah Omar said. ‘‘In the time to come, we will try to establish an Islamic, independent, perfect and strong system.’’
n DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Three suspected U.S. missile strikes in less than 12 hours hit militant targets in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, officials said, an unusually intense barrage that follows four other such attacks in the last week. At least 14 suspected militants were killed.
The strikes were in North Waziristan, a lawless region home to insurgents battling foreign troops just across the border in Afghanistan, al-Qaida leaders plotting attacks in the West and extremists behind bombings in Pakistan.
The militants have stepped up their own attacks in Pakistan in recent days, just as the army focuses on helping millions of victims from the worst floods in the country’s history. Four big bombs have killed at least 135 people in less than a week.
Gunmen kill Iraqi journalist
BAGHDAD — Gunmen on Wednesday killed an Iraqi TV journalist, the second to be slain in Iraq in as many days, highlighting the dangers media workers continue to face in the country seven years after the U.S.-led invasion.
While a number of foreign correspondents were killed in the years immediately following the invasion, Iraqi journalists are now the main target, especially photographers and TV journalists who are easier to spot, according to Reporters Without Borders.